Family Vacation Tips

Sally Black

Sally Black
Sally is the Founder of Vacationkids.com Travel Agency and author of the book "Fearless Family Vacations". She is also the Director of Travel Agent Initiatives and Training at The Family Travel Association.

Recent Posts

Pre-Travel Stress

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 3, 2020 6:00:00 AM / by Sally Black posted in Family Vacation Health, family vacation ideas, travel tips

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

While a vacation maybe me one of the highlights of your entire year, the days leading up to departure can be stressful.  For some people, this stress can bubble over into a full blown anxiety or panic attack complete with physical symptoms. 

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Can a Family See Europe in 7 Days?

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 25, 2020 9:23:55 AM / by Sally Black posted in Affordable Family Vacations, Family Vacation Destinations, Family Vacation, family vacation ideas, celebration vacations, family river cruise, family vacation europe

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Behinds the scenes here at Vacationkids, our travel advisors answer this question about week long family vacations in Europe almost every day.  I'll be brutally honest, when I hear this question the above picture immediately pops into my brain.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Do U.S. Citizens Need a Visa to Visit Europe?

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 18, 2020 6:30:00 AM / by Sally Black posted in Family Vacation Destinations, Family Vacation, family vacation ideas

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

How To Keep From Hating Your Family While On Vacation

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 11, 2020 7:28:00 AM / by Sally Black posted in family vacations, family group travel, Family Vacation, family vacation ideas

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Family personalities and dynamics can be tricky on any given day. Confine siblings to a car for several hours and you'll quickly see the rivalry come out.  Put several family members into one hotel room or cruise cabin for a week and watch how fast you can get on each other's nerves.  Add parents, in-laws and perhaps a few outlaws, kids from previous relationships and you can quickly start to hate the people you are suppose to love.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

What Does Resort Casual Mean?

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 4, 2020 8:54:00 AM / by Sally Black posted in family vacations, family resorts, Family Cruises, family vacation ideas, All inclusive resorts

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Most all inclusive resorts, and cruise ships for that matter, have resort casual dress codes in place for their restaurants and main public areas. Guests need to be aware of these rules and pack accordingly so that they don't miss out on any fun on their next family vacation.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

How to Budget for a Family Caribbean Cruise Vacation

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 17, 2019 1:48:49 PM / by Sally Black posted in family cruise, family vacation ideas, celebration vacations, Family cruise vacation, Caribbean Family Cruises, Best family cruises, family river cruise

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

How to Plan a Honeymoon

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 20, 2019 9:33:40 AM / by Sally Black

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Planning a wedding can be exciting and stressful at the same time. So many decisions to be made.  Then there’s the fun part. Where should we go on our honeymoon?

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

What's Included at a Family All Inclusive Resort?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 23, 2019 6:28:00 AM / by Sally Black posted in family vacations, family resorts, family vacation ideas

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Family all inclusive resorts offer fun-filled vacation experiences starting at a price of $80 to $100 per person/per night.  These resorts are found in popular Caribbean, Mexico and Central America vacation spots but there are all inclusive family resorts in other world wide destinations too.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Best Family Resorts in Fiji

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 16, 2019 6:00:00 AM / by Sally Black posted in family vacations, Family Vacation Destinations, Family Vacation, family vacation ideas

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Is it Worth Hiring a Tour Guide?

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 9, 2019 6:02:00 AM / by Sally Black posted in Family Vacation Destinations, Family Vacation, family tours, Guided tours

[fa icon="comment"] 0 Comments

Whenever hard working parent plan a vacation, they want to be certain they are getting the best vacation possible for every penny they spend.  Often from the outside looking in, people think vacation planning is an easy DIY project that if they invest the work, they will save some coin. This is especially true when deciding to hire a tour guide.

Before I worked in the travel business, I’d research our family vacation for months – hoping to uncover the places that locals loved. I would crowdsource  vacation ideas  and try to connect with locals that could offer up some secret intel.

I’ll be honest with you, back then I  was on a very tight budget and was trying to scrimp every penny so that my family could take a vacation. I didn’t see the value of hiring a guide or working with a destination specialist. I was convinced I could do it all on my own - without the help of a trained professional.

I was a single mom with 3 kids at the time.  The first trip where I acted as a tour guide was our summer road trip to New England.  It began as a disaster on several levels. 

With the best of intentions, I was trying to prepare my kids for their American history classes the following September.  I tried cramming my U.S. history facts into their sweet little brains with engaging car conversations that fell upon deaf ears accompanied by sarcastic eye rolls.  The Freedom Trail in Boston instantly deteriorated into a bickering fest that was only interrupted by the trauma of a pigeon pooping on the head of my youngest.  By day two of our 7 day historical odyssey, I was out numbered, overwhelmed and exhausted.  This wasn't fun for any of us.

As a parent, it's hard enough to get your kids to listen to you on any given day so why did I think they would want to listen to me playing tour guide?

By day 3 I surrendered and bought us guided tour tickets in Salem, Massachusetts.  I really didn't want to spend the money but I was defeated.  To everyone's delight, our guide was incredible!  He walked us through town, told us stories about folks buried in the cemetery and pointed out fascinating facts in the witch museum that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. He took us to Nathaniel Hawthorne's "House of the Seven Gables" and showed us hidden bookcases and rooms where people hid during the witch trials.  My kids were so engaged, hanging on his every word.

My kids loved listening to him and guess what? They didn't have to listen to me for a couple of hours. Instantly I became a participant in my own vacation. I could relax and enjoy my kids learning what I had intended from the very beginning. They could enjoy me having fun with them!

  I  immediately booked us into guided tours for our next three stops of Plimoth Plantation, Martha's Vineyard and a mansion tours of Newport, Rhode Island. I spent more than I had originally budgeted for this vacation but the result was the vacation that far exceeded what I had originally envisioned.

Read More [fa icon="long-arrow-right"]

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts